Monday, July 17, 2006

Region haters. Spectators. Dictators. Behind-Door...

This has been a long time coming. Furman can attest to the frequency with which this track was obnoxiously blasted through the floors of the multi-apartment palace that we called home for the past year. In an interview released around the time of The Carter II's explosive dropping and subsequent one-upping of everything else I might have been listening to at the time, Weezy F. Baby (please say the Baby) claimed "Shooter" was to follow "Fireman" as the second single off the album. I was torn between cynical disbelief and hope that I would one day see Robin Thicke's (son of Jason Seaver) lanky frame dancing -- and towering -- over Young Carter's in a music video of the best song of 2005.

Months passed, and I sort of forgot about Shooter and its promised 12" release. This appearance on Jay Leno had satisified me, I suppose; it was audacious of me to ever think that such a daring -- and yet, I thought, potentially commercially massive -- record would ever make MTV.

You can imagine the thrill I felt yesterday, when I turned on MTV2 (almost there), Making the Video came on, and Lil Wayne's platinum grill flashed on screen. His face followed a few moments later, and I held my breath -- surely paranoid record label execs had pushed Weezy into putting out that one track on II that I skip, the one where he talks about getting his grown man on (with you). Instead, he started about his spectacular collaboration with Thicke, and I the thrill of anticipation rushed through me.

What a Making the Video it was. Watching these two guys interact would make even the most hardened rap (or is it rock)-is-dead moralist grin and pass the haterade. Wayne talked about how he's been living his dream since he was 8 years old, how he's never had a girlfriend, and how work is never hard if you're doing what you love. Thicke's swagger is subtle but convincing; he's smooth and articulate, self-effacing but possessing of real confidence, the kind that will enable him to succeed as a white R&B singer who likes to talk about rock and can't really dance.

It was fun to watch Wayne and Thicke talk about how much they love the song, and Benny Boom seemed like he was probably having a much better time than he does directing most run-of-the-mill rap videos. I was impatient, however, to SEE THE VIDEO. Until the show was wrapping up and the video began, I kept myself from believing it actually existed; surely someone, somewhere, would realize that the public, having heard Shooter, would no longer stand for rap/singer tripe the like of this. An industry surviving on cheap imitations and formulaic crap would be in real danger of collapse.

I guess it's just the one that got away.

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